Z-DRP plotting potential cross-party leadership coup, alleges opposition MP

A serving Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP has alleged that a spin-off faction formed by some of her colleagues is working to remove current leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali to forward their own presidential candidate – from another party.

Expressing these concerns, DRP MP Rozaina Adam today hit out at supporters of the Z-DRP faction, formed by a number of her fellow party members in the wake of infighting between serving leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and party founder Maumoon Abdul Gayoom over claims they were endangering the party’s election prospects.

She claims that the Z-DRP, who support Gayoom over his self-appointed successor Thasmeen, are endangering their own party’s election prospects in a coup to forward their own candidate and interests.

While Gayoom continues to hold the title of “honorary leader” of the DRP, Adam said she believed the former president’s involvement with the Z-DRP group was at the centre of the present disputes and infighting.

“There is no legal basis for what [Gayoom] is doing,” she said, referring to the former president’s attacks on the party leadership and its aims of removing Thasmeen from the leadership. Adam said that the divides within the DRP was weakening the party as the country’s main political opposition, as well as negatively impacting its support base.

Just yesterday, the DRP branch office of Adam’s Thulusdhoo constituency announced via a statement that its local supporters would consider “shifting sides” in regards to their political allegiance if the party failed to resolve the reported split.

“We call on former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and DRP Zaeem (honorary leader) to solve the internal dispute within the party,’’ read the statement, signed by the Deputy Head of the Thulusdhoo Branch.

Adam said that she was sceptical whether the party’s supporters would opt to join another party, especially in the case of the governing Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), though she accepted that the DRP’s reputation may have suffered among supporters.

“I do think [the party’s infighting] creates confusion for supporters, but I don’t think they will change party; that is not likely,” she said. “However, I don’t think that this movement [Z-DRP] is working for what’s best for the DRP. We see people in the party supporting People’s Alliance (PA) leader party leader Abdullah Yameen as a possible leader.”

Adam alleged that some MPs linked to the Z-DRP faction were actively trying to unseat Thasmeen solely to install another candidate such as Yameen, Gayoom’s half brother, or another politician wanting to claim the DRP’s presidential ticket for their own “agenda”.

“[Their motives] are based on pulling Thasmeen down and installing their own candidate,” she claimed. “[Ahmed] Mahlouf – a fellow DRP MP linked to the Z-DRP – has already stated that he would rather support President Mohamed Nasheed [of the MDP] than our own leader in Thasmeen. I suspect [the Z-DRP] have a candidate in mind for the presidency. I don’t know who this will be, but I believe it is not for the benefit of the party.”

Adam’s comments were made as fellow DRP MP Ahmed Nihan, himself aligned to the Z-DRP movement, said he believed there was widespread support within the wider party to appoint a new leader to replace Thasmeen by next year ahead of a general election scheduled for 2013.

Speaking to Minivan News, Nihan said that despite infighting within the party, there remained widespread support among his fellow DRP members for a new candidate to contest for the party as the 2013 presidential candidate. Amongst this apparent interest in changing leadership of the DRP, the MP claimed that he expected neither Thasmeen nor former President Gayoom to stand against President Mohamed Nasheed in the 2013 election.

The Z-DRP, which has been described by politicians and media outlets as both a political movement and an individual faction of the DRP standing to oppose Thasmeen, was formed amidst disputes in the party initially between supporters of Thasmeen and the party’s dismissed Deputy Leader Umar Naseer.

After these initial disputes led to Naseer’s dismissal  from the party in December, the infighting has evolved into outright criticisms between the only two men to have stood as leaders of the DRP.

After announcing this week that Gayoom had been requested to stand as a temporary leader of the Z-DRP and chair its member meetings until a new DRP leader was instated, Nihan said that this did not mean the former president would return from retirement to stand as a presidential candidate in 2013.

“Maumoon [Gayoom] is not coming out of his retirement to enter politics, but there is something much bigger for him to do. There is a moral obligation that if anything goes wrong [with the DRP], as party founder he must help find a solution,” he claimed. “Gayoom is not changing his mind to run in the next election, we will have a new leader by then.”

In addressing the capacity of the Z-DRP’s support to enact a potential change in leadership, Nihan rejected the descriptive term of a faction used by media to describe the group. The MP added that the Z-DRP was just the name of a movement that reflected wider concerns amongst party members that he claimed strongly believed Thasmeen had “failed” to oppose the government in policies such as allowing India-based infrastructure giant GMR to manage and overhaul Male’ international Airport.

“Gayoom does not want the DRP to be split up. Whatever our name is we are members, serving members of the DRP,” he claimed. “I don’t believe we are in a faction [Z-DRP], we are founding members of the party including myself, Ahmed Mahlouf and Duniya Maumoon. The majority of the DRP are behind us.”

Nihan said he was certain that a large number of the party’s general members “strongly believed” that Thasmeen was not doing enough to hold the government accountable. “Thasmeen has failed and our supporters have requested reforms,” he said. “We are calling for an agreement on holding a conference within a given time frame.”

According to Nihan, this conference could come in the form of an extraordinary party meeting or in the form of the congress scheduled for 2012. In the last party congress held back in 2010, Thasmeen was appointed by Gayoom himself as party leader.

Nihan said that any potential change in leadership ahead of the 2013 elections should be made would by a vote reflecting the choices of party members. “At present, we are hoping we may be able to schedule a congress or party meeting with members concerning leadership possibly by August,” he said.


18 thoughts on “Z-DRP plotting potential cross-party leadership coup, alleges opposition MP”

  1. "Nihan said he was certain that a large number of the party’s general members strongly believed that Thasmeen was not doing enough to hold the government accountable."

    I'm also certain that large number includes Umar Naseer and, er... Umar Naseer. Their understanding of "doing enough to hold the government accountable" means, stop the government from doing anything at all! Moreover, another aim should be to topple the government at the earliest opportunity.

    However, Thasmeen takes a very different view to that, which is the correct democratic view. Opposing the government, making it accountable, and toppling it down are very different things. Zedey's faction doesn't understand the difference. Well, Zedey and it's leaders do, but they want the unwashed masses to do the dirty work for them and topple the elected government.

    I have seen absolutely nothing from Zedey's gang on making the government accountable. Nihan is a man of many words, but there is a total disconnect between brain and mouth there!

  2. man....sad day...now the beautiful Rozaina is going to join MDP..

  3. @ Ahmed bin Addu bin suvaidib
    When recalled, many of this ID's comments posted here in Minivan, it's very celar that he or she is a devoted MDP supporter or most probably an inner circle of Anni.
    I find some thing very common with this comment holders word expressions, as he always try to prove DRP mem specially DRP Mp's are worth nothing.
    It seems that this ID have blind eye on MDP Mp's such as Reeco moos when he behaves like an orange utan most of the time when we see him on political stages.
    If you think DRP MP's are not worth enough to make public statements, then you are most probably having a brain disorder.

  4. @ Hassan..that is right, that has been my hunch as well all along...Like i have always been saying the yellow tribe is blind..and very corrupt...but we are going to take the country back to its people and we will bring honor to the highest office in the country under an DRP lead government...

  5. @hassan

    What is your problem man??
    Please practice freedom of expression and comment on the article.

  6. So the crocodile which Rozaina Adam was feeding now wants to eat her bro-in law? Is that it?

  7. @Hassan

    "When recalled, many of this ID’s comments posted here in Minivan, it’s very celar that he or she is a devoted MDP supporter or most probably an inner circle of Anni."

    Guess what? Hate to break the bad news to you, but you're totally wrong on this one. I have reiterated more than once, that I have no affiliation with any political party. Why? Because, I do not believe there's any political party that is working in the interests of the country and its people. All of the political parties are working for their own selfish needs.

    On the other hand, you may be or may not be a DRP supporter. I don't care. It's your constitutional right to join any party you like. I am exercising my right to criticise openly and publicly.

    The difference between I and "yellow" followers or "blue" followers is that I'm not blinded by any colour. I have full colour vision, thank you very much.

    I'm critical of Anni and his government when they go "off chart", for example. In my view, Reeko Moosa is a clown! So are Nihan, and some of the blind followers of Zedey. I respect Zedey for the good things he did during his 30 years. A lot of people, including myself, benefitted from his policies. I or any member of my family suffered any harm from Zedey. However, there are others who are not so fortunate.

    Zedey had the chance for a peaceful retirement in dignity. Clearly he has no inclination of doing that. The only logical explanation for his behaviour is that he's still bitter about losing the last general election and wants to prove that he or his "clan" can make a comeback into Maldivian politics. Great, try that by all means, but legally!

  8. I have an alternative explanation of why Zedey's in all of this. I think, just like the old Mafia Dons, Zedey has just not been allowed to lied quiet by his former compatriots.

    He's been dragged back into the fray by his "clan" and former associates. None of them have Zedey's charm. C'mon, Yaameen has as much charm as a hammerhead shark!

    So, this is a desperate attempt at a revival using the old man Zedey. Let the guy have his retirement, for God's sake.

  9. Zedey and his allies wants to throw Thasmeen out of DRP leadership. That is for certain and every Maldivian by now knows that. This is because of two reasons.
    1. As long as Thasmeen remains the elected leader of DRP, there is no way Zedey can legally be the presidential candidate from DRP.
    2. Zedey wants to prove that he is the man for Maldives and defeating him in the last presidential election was the biggest mistake the people made.

    In early 2010 Zedey announced that he is leaving politics. But since then he could not sleep because that was never what he had in his mind. He has always thought of comming back. And Thasmeen is not making it easy for him.

    My guess is Zedey would have thought that Thasmeen cannot do much and Zedey will be asked to come back. This is mainly because of the pathetic state DRP was in when Zedey left politics.

    Much to Zedey's surprise, Thasmeen is doing fine with the party. He has won two main elections for DRP and his efforts have gained much support for DRP. So there is no way people are going to ask Zedey to come back. Zedey has realised this and now he wants to come back by hook or by crook. So he is making Umar Naseer and a few fools dance to his music. DRP calls all this an equivalent of a coup within the party and I agree to it.

  10. @Bin Suvadheeb: I think that Zedey would at some level like ppl to believe that he is being dragged into this thing almost against his will, but I think, power is addictive, and that, despite all his humblest intentions he just can't help himself.

    Who was that US Presidential Advisor, the Jewish Guy who said Power was the greatest aphrodesiac... ah haah, Kissinger, Henry Kissinger...

  11. @Bin Suvadheeb: You are right about Yameen being as charming as a hammer head shark, hehe... he even makes the shark look like Princess Diana...

    not even a hammer head shark deserves to be compared to Yameen.

  12. Its high time DRP realise that Z-DRP is an independent and separate party with their own rights to stand elections just like other political parties in the country. Thasneem stop crying. You messed up. You know you won't win any election now. You were not a choice of the people of Maldives and you forgot that.

  13. @Ziyan

    "Its high time DRP realise that Z-DRP is an independent and separate party with their own rights to stand elections just like other political parties in the country."

    You've completely side stepped the problem. Z-DRP is NOT an independent party. Where are they registered as such? They are not a legal entity (well, there IS a legal entity called ZDRP; sort of business...).

    I don't think anyone will have a problem with Z-DRP legally operating as an independent political party. What they are doing now goes completely against all the principles of democracy and may even be against the law!

  14. The DRP should be allowed to settle their own problems internally.

    No doubt, the decision of the DRP to step into the media was made by themselves and therefore has dragged us into the debate.

    However, unless we are members of the DRP or hold any stake in them, we should just let them settle their problems their own way.

    Clowns like Moosa, Ali Waheed, Alhan, Ilham, Nihan are necessary for the everyday running of a political party in the Maldives. Party membership and attendance at party gatherings are bolstered by the sideshows these entertainers put on. Sad fact - but very very true.

  15. Madam Rosaina,
    You are no better than Gayoom. he is supporting his family for the next election and you are supporting yours. You will never be able to join MDP neither gain anymore support for your faction of DRP as Gayoom is more popular. Your mistake was your initial suppoort for Gayoom knowing he is a cunning leader and a corrupt man.
    Poor Rozaina! So sad. You are just about to lose your political stand / trust from your own people.

    Good Luck, m'aam

  16. The DRP is fractured beyond repair. Now is the time to crush them completely. Grind them to dust and spread their ashes into the sea.

    The previous regime will be made to suffer until the last cent it stole from the Maldivian people is returned, and the martyrs who fell to it's cruel claws are avenged.

  17. This is good. Very Good.

    Now Chasbe would realize the efforts and sacrifices Anni/team made to get the MDP to the level it is now.

    Chasbe was riding on Gayyooms back all this time.

    Step up guys. If you want to compete with MDP, you have to do more... MUCH more. At the moment Chasbe', you have not even worked a fraction of the efforts of MDP.


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